After 7 years of negotiations the charity was offered heads of terms for a new 20year lease for the garden in November 2013 and this was passed to our solicitors for processing. We had believed the lease would be granted on a simple 'peppercorn' rent basis after the extended negotiations, so we were surprised when the final draft included 'service charge' clause. Our solicitor requested a figure be given for the service charge amount, and for this to be shown in the lease. We were advised us it would be foolish to sign an agreement with no idea of how much the council could charge for services; unlocking the gates and removing rubbish. We still, over 4 months later, are waiting for a response from council officers to this simple query and seem no closer to receiving a new lease.
We are unable to move the building project ahead without a new lease in place and are very concerned that the hard work of trustees and supporters in raising the funds for the building project may be wasted if the delays continue, as funding for the project may be withdrawn and construction costs continue to rise.
If you would like to express your frustration with the ongoing delays regarding the new lease you can contact Camden's Chief lettings officer, Christine Dove directly via email: